Tiwai Point

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Tiwai Point
Awarua Plain (top), Tiwai Point (centre) and Bluff (lower left) viewed from the International Space Station in 2008. Awarua nasa.JPG
Awarua Plain (top), Tiwai Point (centre) and Bluff (lower left) viewed from the International Space Station in 2008.

Tiwai Point lies at the entrance to Bluff Harbour on the southern coast of the South Island of New Zealand. A spit which extends from the western end of the Awarua Plain, it lies between Awarua Bay to the north and Foveaux Strait to the south. It is known for the Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter, one of the largest industrial facilities in New Zealand. [1] However, in July 2020 it was announced by Rio Tinto that the aluminium smelter would close in August 2021. [2] [3]


Tiwai Rocks Important Bird Area

The rocks at the tip of Tiwai Point have been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because they are home to a breeding colony of Foveaux shags. [4]

Foveaux looper moth

Tiwai Point is one of the two remaining locations where the critically endangered Foveaux looper moth lives. [5] A. frivola is at high risk of extinction, and has already disappeared from one of its three known localities. [6] Its main population exists on an area at Tiwai Point of less than 25 m² of coastal vegetation.

Causeway accident

In 1980, a vehicle with 10 people failed to take a turn on the Tiwai Point causeway, crashing through a barrier and falling into the water. Seven people died, including five who were never recovered. [7]

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<i>Asaphodes frivola</i>

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<i>Asaphodes imperfecta</i>

Asaphodes imperfecta is a moth in the family Geometridae. It is endemic to New Zealand. It is classified as critically endangered by the Department of Conservation.

<i>Asaphodes exoriens</i>

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  1. Easton, Brian (3 March 2009). "Economy – Secondary production". Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatu- Taonga. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  2. Rutherford, Hamish (9 July 2020). "Rio Tinto announces plans to close New Zealand aluminium smelter in 2021". NZ Herald. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  3. Braae, Alex (10 July 2020). "The Bulletin: Tiwai Point closing affects everything". The Spinoff. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  4. BirdLife International. (2012). Important Bird Areas factsheet: Tiwai Rocks. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 5 February 2012.
  5. Patrick, Brian (2014). "Ecology and conservation of the rare moth Asaphodes frivola Meyrick" (PDF). Weta. 47: 17–38. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 January 2016.
  6. Patrick, Brian (20 March 2018). "The remuremu looper moth – Asaphodes frivola". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  7. Jamieson, Debbie (26 July 2010). "30 years since Tiwai tragedy". Southland Times. Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 13 January 2017.

Coordinates: 46°35′53″S168°21′51″E / 46.598034°S 168.364105°E / -46.598034; 168.364105